Analyst: Recent IGT proxy fight viewed as 'positive' for the company


One gaming analyst thought International Game Technology’s recently-concluded proxy fight was actually a good thing for gaming industry’s largest slot machine manufacturer.

Wells Fargo Securities gaming analyst Cameron McKnight resumed his coverage of IGT this week with an “outperform” rating following a months-long heated proxy battle over the makeup of the company’s board of directors.

Ader Investment Management, which owns 3 percent of IGT and had been seeking to replace three members of the company’s eight-person board with its own slate of candidates, saw one its choices win a seat.

“We believe the conclusion of the proxy contest is a positive for IGT, given the management attention it had required,” McKnight told investors. “We don’t expect any material changes in the current management team.”

McKnight said IGT management is now focused on the company’s core businesses, which includes a continued upside in the interactive gaming market.

He called IGT’s management “disciplined.”

IGT has $600 million left on its share repurchase authorization program. The company expects to use the funds over the next two to four years. McKnight said he expects the stock repurchase activities to be “opportunistic” and support current price levels.

“We believe the risk-reward profile is positive given the company's growing market share, significant free cash flow generation, and continued improvements,” McKnight said.